Saturday, September 17, 2016

El Bulli Fun!: 1671 Apple Mojito Sandwich And 1741 Duck Foie Gras Tartlet

1671 Apple Mojito Sandwich
1741 Duck Foie Gras Tartlet
 It's been a good long while since I've done an  El Bulli recipe! A couple days ago someone came across my old El Bulli At Home blog and asked about a couple recipes. The principal interest was an older item that shows up as "White Chocolate English Bread" but in the catalogs is most likely 2003's 944 "Frozen White Chocolate Air".

The other recipe we talked about was this one: the Apple Mojito Sandwich. The ElBulli version uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the mojito granita, but it can easily be made in a regular ice cream freezer. And then, since I was poking around in the 2010-2011 book I decided to do an old favorite I never managed to write up.

As usual with published recipes, these are not mine to re-publish. If you're interested in trying one feel free to PM me.

Day One: Methylcellulose Base and Apple Mojito Granita

Methylcellulose needs to be dissolved at a relatively high temperature (90° C) so this part is perfect for the Thermomix. Just warm up 200 grams of water, add 6 grams of methylcellulose and mix until dissolved.


That goes into into the fridge overnight to hydrate. Then on to the apple juice for the meringues and the granita.


Juice about a kilo of apples for the meringue bases. If you've used a juicer you know that a good deal of fine particulate matter is mixed up in the foam on top of the juice. To clarify the juice it just goes in the freezer for about half an hour...


And you can scoop the frozen foam right off! That juice goes into the fridge and another batch of apples gets juiced for the granita.

At elBulli the granita was made immediately before serving using liquid nitrogen. Since I don't have easy access to small quantities of liquid nitrogen I decided to give it a shot using my trusty ice cream freezer. Making the mojito granita base is easy:

Mint leaves, Rum, Xanthan Gum & Apple Juice
Everybody into the pool:


It does take a few minutes with the immersion blender to get the texture smooth enough. Then into the ice cream freezer and half an hour later:


I will say this: that is just about the most intense mint flavor you can imagine.

Day Two: Meringue "Baguettes"



Xanthan Gum, Egg White Powder, Wheat Fiber (a.k.a. wheat dextrin, Trisol and in the USA, Benefiber), Apple Juice, and methylcellulose solution ready to go. All but the smaller portion of the xanthan gum gets whizzed together and a small portion of that mixture is reserved. Then the remaining xanthan is added and whizzed again. Both go into the refrigerator for a few hours...


The larger portion is whipped to stiff peaks, the smaller added and whipped again. If anyone can explain the reason for this procedure I'd love to know.

I'm no good at piping
The meringue gets piped onto silicone sheets and into the dehydrator for 24 hours

Day Three: Assembly and Consumption

Nothing much to this, just very carefully lift the meringue "baguettes" from the dehydrator sheets, apply the granita and eat. Mine came out almost hollow so instead of trying to split them, I just used two for each sandwich:






And away we go!


How's It Taste?

This are pretty tasty. The mojito granita is very intense and the meringue has only the slightest hint of the apple flavor.

Duck Foie Gras Tartlet

This one uses a pair of El Bulli favorites: obulato sheets and a simple caramel made with fondant, glucose, and isomalt. Those two items appear in quite a number of recipes from these years - you can find two I've tried on the El Bulli At Home blog here and here.



You start by very gently cooking the foie, just until it's warmed through and lightly colored. Then wrap it tightly in plastic film and foil and pop it into the freezer for a few hours.

Meanwhile I heated the oven to 170° C and prepped the obulato sheets. El Bulli used circular sheets but since I have square ones, that's what I used.


A few chunks of caramel turn into powder quickly in the Thermomix which is then dusted onto the obulato sheets:


Into the oven for a minute and they're done.


You do have to lift them off pretty quickly or the overflow caramel glues them all together. When that happens it just takes a couple seconds back in the oven to remelt everything. I stored the sheets in a little plastic food container separated with sheets of parchment paper.


To finish these little guys I grated the frozen foie gras using a microplane grated and Boom! Foie Gras Tartlet!

How's it Taste?

These are great! The El Bulli caramel is just barely sweet and the crispness of the obulato makes a nice contrast to the smooth foie. This is a marvelous little "amuse" that takes almost no actual work in the kitchen. We'd serve this pretty much anytime.

These were quite a bit of fun to make and neither one required any special skills or kitchen magic.

3 comments:

pj said...

Hi, can you tell the amounts of ingredients (grams, liters...) for the meringue baguettes? thank you very much

William Colsher said...

Sure - since it's not my recipe to publish, DM me your email and I'll send you a scan of the recipe pages - there's some detail I left out that you'll need.

pj said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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